Today was the second full day that I have been in Nairobi. I arrived Tuesday evening, chilly and rainy, and was picked up by the husband of the family that I will be living with for the next six month. They have a beautiful home on the outskirts of the city in the Jamhuri section of the city. That first night I collapsed in bed. The next day I moved myself in a bit, met the rest of the family- Mwix and her 2 adorable daughters- Gabi and Samara… plus many family members who live in the homes next door, and brothers and sisters from Nairobi Chapel. I met many at a gathering last night that my family hosted in their home as a send-off celebration for a man going to live in the UK for a year. How funny it was to realize he was bracing himself for culture shock as well- but in reverse! It was a great time to talk sing and pray with these people that I had just met.
Today was the day I stepped out of my home and rode on the Matatu vans with Gideon to Mathare Valley. First off, let me just say the drive was crazy- but in incredibly fun and scary way! the vans are these dilapidated vehicles that blast music and drive crazy through the streets of Nairobi. the same thing exists in Tanzania, only there they are called Dhala-Dhalas. Anyways we drove over curbs, weaved traffic and went the wrong way (towards the traffic, instead of away!) but I think these guys are extremely skilled drivers because they get so close to everything and yet hardly have any accidents!
Once we arrived to Mathare Valley we went to the Inspiration Center which is one cement room that looks out into the second largest slum in Kenya. It seemed like an insignificantly small place to have any impact and yet the vision of the man behind the building is astounding to me. Moses uses this small room as a daycare for small babies whose mothers have found jobs outside the slum, as well as caring for children and youth by providing quality extra curricular activities. He brings in a piano teacher, art teachers, exposes the kids to dance, music, provides movies for them to watch and organizes events for the children in Mathare. I am just beginning to learn about what all the inspiration Center is providing for the children there but I am already so amazed at the faith and passion that drives this ministry in such a sad place. We walked through the slum area- trash, ditches, muddy water that did not smell like just mud, and many faces.